Munster ‘A’ head coach Mick O’Driscoll has named his side to face Doncaster Knights in the quarter-final of the British & Irish Cup at Castle Park on Saturday (kick-off 2pm).
Mick O’Driscoll will once again field a mixture of senior, Academy and club talent as Munster ‘A’ face the tournament’s top seeds in the knockout stages – Doncaster have accumulated 29 out of a possible 30 points following a clean sweep of victories in the competition to date.
Cork Constitution duo Liam O’Connor and Ger Sweeney join hooker Niall Scannell in the front row at loosehead and tighthead prop respectively, while Munster’s most capped player Donncha O’Callaghan will bring a wealth of experience to the pack when he partners Shannon’s Lee Nicholas in the second row.
Shane Buckley is named at blindside flanker this weekend with Sean Dougall at openside, while Academy back rower Jack O’Donoghue continues to captain the side from number 8.
Garryowen clubman Neil Cronin, who made his GUINNESS PRO12 debut against Leinster last month, starts again at scrum half, with the remainder of the back-line comprising of up-and-coming Academy talent.
Rory Scannell, the highest points scorer for Munster ‘A’ in this season’s competition, continues at out-half while Gearoid Lyons and David Johnston join forces in the centre, with Greg O’Shea, Darren Sweetnam and Stephen Fitzgerald making up a fleet-footed back-three.
O’Shea, Fitzgerald and Jack Cullen, who is the reserve scrum half, have all been included in the Ireland Under-20 squad for the upcoming U-20 Six Nations Championship.
The Munster ‘A’ bench also sees the inclusion of four new club representatives to the current campaign – Peter McCabe (Dolphin), Declan Lavery (Old Belvedere), Ben Kilkenny (Young Munster) and Frank Bradshaw Ryan (Shannon).
MUNSTER ‘A’ (v Doncaster Knights): Stephen Fitzgerald; Darren Sweetnam, David Johnston, Gearoid Lyons, Greg O’Shea; Rory Scannell, Neil Cronin; Liam O’Connor, Niall Scannell, Ger Sweeney, Donncha O’Callaghan, Lee Nicholas, Shane Buckley, Sean Dougall, Jack O’Donoghue (capt).
Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, Peter McCabe, Declan Lavery, Frank Bradshaw Ryan, Ben Kilkenny, Jack Cullen, Dan Goggin.